Gift giving etiquette and ideas for baby showers and beyond
Are there any expectant mothers in your life right now? No matter what’s going on in the world, moms-to-be deserve to be excited and pampered as they plan for baby’s arrival. And, whether you’ve been invited to an in-person or virtual baby shower, or simply want to do a nice thing, we’ve got some gift-giving tips for you.
What do I need to bring to a baby shower?
If you’ve been invited and are planning to attend a baby shower, it is of course customary to bring a gift. But, what to bring?
First, check the registry. Has the mom-to-be set up a registry? If so, start here for ideas and inspiration! Even if there’s nothing left on the registry that suits your budget or strikes your fancy, you can see what sorts of things the expectant mom wants; what has already been bought for her; and get insights on things like nursery color schemes.
And don’t forget to read the fine print on the invitation. If the shower is being held far away from the honoree’s home base, perhaps there will be a request to please mail gifts, or only bring small items. It’s also never a bad idea to bring a small gift for the hostess of the shower, but it’s not obligatory.
What are some great and creative baby shower gift ideas?
If you’re searching beyond the registry, or looking to give a gift independent of a formal baby shower, we’ve got some ideas for you:
- Tableware - To be more practical, baby dinnerware is among the most common gifts, yet so useful in the long run. You can buy baby bottles for the first months, which support moms to feed babies in public and opt for bowls that will come in handy during the baby-led-weaning. For instance, silicone feeding plates for toddlers can also be a good gift idea, as they have portion separators and stick to any surface. When it comes to colors and shapes - the choice is all yours.
- A 5-year journal – Help the new mom keep track of all the memories and all the feelings! Brightly has some great suggestions of keepsake journals busy moms will actually use.
- Books – You can’t go wrong with books, and it’s hard for a kid to have too many. Check out Barnes & Noble’s list of the 50 best books to bring to a baby shower, featuring classics as well as newer titles.
- Bodysuits, tees, and rompers – Again, it’s hard for a little one to have too many, especially when the clothes are as cute, stylish, and sustainable as Finn + Emma’s boys’ attire and girls’ attire.
- Something to pamper the new mom – Think: a spa or meal-delivery gift card, a gift certificate for a few nights of free babysitting (if you’re up for that sort of thing!), or some lovely lotions or scented candles.
- When in doubt: diapers (or swaddles and blankets) – New moms always love a practical gift. Add a cute, unique toy, and you’re good to go!
Also, whenever you can, always include a gift receipt – just in case it’s not something the mom-to-be can use, or in case she already has enough of a particular item.
Is it okay to give money at a baby shower?
Yes, money is a perfectly acceptable gift. Also: gift cards—even iTunes, so mom can download some cool music for baby or useful apps like those that provide white noise!
What about expecting dads—do they need gifts?
Just like babies, baby showers come in all shapes and sizes, especially if they are being held virtually. If the event is honoring dad(s)-to-be, here are a few great baby shower gift ideas for dads:
- A “dad-approved” diaper bag – Here are some great ideas from Fatherly of the best diaper bags for dads that don’t look like diaper bags.
- A coffee delivery subscription – What new dad wouldn’t want/need a little extra coffee in his life? NY Mag has some helpful recommendations for the best coffee subscription clubs (or, if he’s not a coffee drinker, you can get the dad-to-be a subscription to something else he’d like to receive on a monthly basis, whether it’s beer, wine, meat, or cheese).
- A dad-themed onesie – Maybe from dad’s favorite team or with dad-themed graphics.
A baby shower, in whatever form it is held, is meant to help parents get ready for the arrival of their newest addition. Practical and thoughtful gifts rule the day. What are the top things you’d want to receive, or have received, at a baby shower? We’d love to hear.